One of my biggest frustrations as a mom in today’s overloaded information age is the endless stream of hazards, studies, chemicals, toxins, and recalls we are continuously made aware of. It’s incredibly easy to feel like every single decision you make carries immense weight, and everything you do or give your child during the day has potential hazards involved. Article after article about children’s products pour through my social media feed each day, and to keep up with it all is utterly exhausting. Is the study valid? Is it a real concern? What is a safe alternative? How can I make the best choices without breaking our budget? I swear some days I consider going back to work just so I can pay for a research assistant to help me sift through the crap and get down to what really matters. While I’m thankful that we as moms today have information available to help keep our children safe, I also sometimes think a little ignorance is bliss. Generations before us didn’t have access to all of this information – yet somehow, they survived and thrived?
In honor of this daily struggle I wanted to write about what it looks like in the head of today’s moms. It’s not all to be taken seriously, but some days it sure feels close. Finding that balance between staying up to date on products and practices and keeping your sanity and focus on what really matters is no easy task. To all you moms that make decisions every day with nothing but your children’s best interest at heart and cross your fingers that it all works out, I applaud you and adore you.
My body naturally rises at 6 a.m. Before I muster the energy to get out of bed I quickly sift through my news and social media feeds, which always contains something about child safety. First up is an article about infant and toddler mattresses emitting toxic chemicals our little ones breathe in all night.
Because who should ever test those to make sure they’re safe? I peek at my daughter on the monitor sleeping peacefully with her bottom in the air. Look at how sweet she is… just soaking up toxins through that cute little nose. Son of a B.
I’m ready for the day, and she begins to stir upstairs. I get her cup ready with some milk. Having recently read about BPA free cups being just as dangerous due to substituting with unregulated chemicals and carcinogens, I fill it reluctantly.
What the F am I supposed to do? Pour the milk straight into her mouth? Here you go, sweetheart. Drink up out of your toxic sippy.
After her milk we head to her playroom to work out some morning wiggles and get an appetite for breakfast working. As she plays contently with her play food at the kitchen set, I can’t help but look around at what an apparent danger trap the room is.
Hmm. She just climbed up and stood on the back of the chair to play with the blinds and cords. Should probably replace those. That shelving unit needs mounting. The outlet covers she now picks off with ease need to be replaced with something heavy duty. Oh, and those are a choking hazard now. Half of that basket of teething toys have been recalled due to choking hazards… should probably throw those out, too. There’s her old Bumbo. The queen bee of fall hazards. Where were people putting their children while in this seat?! There’s the jumper she once loved, happily bouncing her way up to projectile spit up. I just read that those are “amputation and fracture” risks. YIKES? Clearly this room is not fit for children. Let’s make some breakfast and go play at the park.
I cut up some toast, wash and chop an apple, and get her some organic fruit smoothie. I eye the baby food pouch, but get sick thinking about the video I just saw of someone finding live larvae in one of those pouches.
The bread is whole grain, that’s good right? The apple isn’t organic, but I washed it, soooo? Hopefully that’s good enough? Naked brand just came out with the fact that their wholesome smoothies contain other ingredients and chemicals that aren’t listed. Is this one legit? Here’s to hoping? Eat up, pumpkin.
I clean her up, get her dressed, and change her diaper.
How can I still use these Kirkland wipes from Costco without letting that article I read about them getting a low safety rating creep into the back of my head? I love these wipes!
I grab her bag and go to put her in the car seat.
Chest buckle at armpit height. Check. Shoulder straps perfectly on top of shoulders and can’t pinch them at all. Check. Fleece on, but its really thin, so that doesn’t really break the big coat rule, right? Sure. Check. Still happy rear-facing. Sweet. Double check. The fact that we paid for a top of the line car seat and still deal with safety recalls. Really flipping pisses me off.
We get to the park filled with children of all ages.
I wonder if anyone else saw that article about people taping small razor blades all over equipment at playgrounds to intentionally hurt children? Hopefully this one is blade free. Of course it is, Erica… chill.
I do a quick scan of all adults at the playground. Obviously looking for the creep that the news always tells me will surely be there.
Kinda creepy. Could be creepy. Definitely creepy. Did these people come with children?!
Tayler is happily playing, and being the paparazzi mom that I am, I snap a few cute pictures of her playing. Our family digs them.
Wait. Shit. Did I turn off the location service for my phone camera? I don’t need any of these creeps knowing where we are all the time. THEY WERE ABLE TO MAKE MAPS OF KIDS’ BEDROOMS WITH THAT STUFF.
After some fun-filled park adventures, we come back to the house for some lunch and a good nap. I take her upstairs to her room to lay her down.
Crap. I haven’t washed out that cool-mist humidifier in awhile. I think the max you’re supposed to let it go is a week. I’m pretty sure its been like seven. Noise maker on. But not too close to her or too loud. Those are apparently a noise risk now? I’m pretty sure dad’s TV volume level and our dogs’ barking take care of that already for her. Her breathable mesh bumpers are pushed down a little low. Oh well, I’ll leave them. Despite her full body control, I’ve been taught to be terrified of those things.
She wakes up rested, but a little grumpy from her three teeth trying to push through.
Can’t use baby Orajel. Can’t use teething tablets. Our pediatrician said those teething necklaces leak arsenic. Hopefully a low dose of Tylenol is safe. Here babe, chew on this frozen washcloth. I’m so over this.
We decide to head back outside for a walk in her new push car. I opt out of the Bjorn, because I guess those don’t support her hips enough.
I knew I should’ve gotten an Ergo.
Before I put sunscreen on her, I’m left feeling guilt ridden again. I had just read that most popular sunscreen brands are actually full of harmful chemicals.
Well which is better right now? No sunscreen and turning her fragile baby skin to leather? Or putting it on again before we can get over to Target and buy a “safe” baby brand? Get over here lady. Let’s lather you up.
We enjoy our walk and play in our court for awhile, and then devour our string cheese snack. We head to back yard to kick a ball around.
God our yard looks like hell after this winter. I’m assuming we can’t use fertilizer? What can we use? Anything? Rely on all the dog poop that needs to be picked up? Shit. This yard is a minefield of poop. We can’t be back here.
So we head back inside for a little bit to play in her danger room. Followed by what I can only hope was a somewhat safe and nutritious dinner. We eventually head up for bath time. We just ran out of our Burt’s Bee’s Soap, so I grab some Johnson and Johnson from our baby shower stash we accumulated.
Is this stuff safe yet? How obnoxious. Formaldehyde? Really? Maybe just this once? I need to invest in Honest Company stock.
Pajamas on. Books read. Lights out. Milk drank. Noise maker on. Rocking into sweet dreams. She’s sleeping safely and comfortably in my arms. But I dare not fall asleep with her, because apparently that’s too dangerous. Pshht.
Whew. We made it through another day in this battlefield. I shouldn’t be called Mom. I should be called Master Crisis Averter. Or Doctor of Danger Assessment. I guess Mom will do for now.
I lay her in her crib, kiss her goodnight, and quietly close the door.
Shit. I wonder if she’ll be ok with the blanket I left in there?